flywheel not engaging on snowblower

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  #1  
Old 01-12-08, 03:29 PM
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flywheel not engaging on snowblower

I have a Brute 525 snowblower that broke down on the first storm of the northeast and can't figure it out.
the recoil pull start just spins the flywheel and doesn't even engage the ignition,electric start is broken.
Belts look fine, very frustrating. bought a new snowblower after not having any luck and signing up for a small engine repair course at the local trade school.
Please help.
Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-12-08, 04:05 PM
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sounds like you need to rebuild your recoil starter. Sounds like the dogs are not catching. They could be worn, the spring that are on the dogs could be broken, and/or the cup on the engine could be worn.


Originally Posted by yukojack View Post
I have a Brute 525 snowblower that broke down on the first storm of the northeast and can't figure it out.
the recoil pull start just spins the flywheel and doesn't even engage the ignition,electric start is broken.
Belts look fine, very frustrating. bought a new snowblower after not having any luck and signing up for a small engine repair course at the local trade school.
Please help.
Thanks
 
  #3  
Old 01-12-08, 09:29 PM
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You're post is kinda confusing?? When you say the pull start just spins the flywheel & doesen't engage the ignition does that mean you have no spark @ the plug?? If you can give us some engine numbers & a few more details I'm sure we can help you out. Let us know all the details. Good Luck, Roger
 
  #4  
Old 01-13-08, 10:31 AM
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Sounds to me like you have a blown engine and you're just spinning the crankshaft with no piston movement. Was it out of oil?
 
  #5  
Old 01-13-08, 10:35 AM
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Tecumseh engine,Brute 523

Thanks Hopsinsr2. I am confused, first snowblower that I have ever owned, bought it used 3 years ago, not used much until this year.
Model # 235003,s/n# 001383.
I even brought in the pull start recoil piece to the local snowblower repair shop and it was looked at, no problems at all. It doesn't seem to be engaging the flywheel completely and just spinning w/o any spark plug ignition.
This is why I have decided to take a class at the local trade school .
 
  #6  
Old 01-13-08, 09:05 PM
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When you pull the rope, does it feel lke it has compression?? if you remove the plug & put you're finger over the hole, does it try to blow you're finger away when you pull the cord?? If not, Cheese may be on the right track. Do you have a good strong blue spark @ the plug if you ground it to clean steel on the engine?? Let's narrow down some problems & go from there. Let us know what you find... Roger
 
  #7  
Old 01-15-08, 12:03 PM
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removed spark plug

yes, you are right, I removed the plug and put my thumb over the hole and felt the air blowing up when pulling the recoil starter.

So, it could be a blown engine? that what it is doing, just spinning the flywheel and crankshaft and even the belts are moving, but no engine engage. is it an expensive repair, or should I junk the snowblower

I will try to send you pictures fo the flywheel and recoil starter which seems ok. although when the recoil starter is off and I pull the rope it just pulls too easy.
Thanks
 
  #8  
Old 01-15-08, 12:22 PM
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pictures of recoil and flywheel

I hope you can view these pictures, 2 of them. I am not too familiar with sending pictures in url format, I usually do jpeg attachments.




http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2193235159/
 
  #9  
Old 01-15-08, 01:51 PM
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If it kinda blows you're finger out of the spark plug hole when you pull the cord, I think the piston is at least moving. Do you have spark @ the plug??? Verify all the stop switches are in the run positoin & check to see if the plastic key has fallen out. Make sure the fuel is turned on & it has fuel in the tank. (Had several no start caused by the key falling out or the carb leaking & fuel tank empty)
The starter will be verry easy to pull if not bolted to the engine. Check spark, fuel & stop switches & let us know. Don't junk it yet, we're not done!!! Thanks, Roger
 
  #10  
Old 01-18-08, 02:17 PM
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recoil starter and flywheel

Roger, I did get numerous sparks at the plug with using the recoil starer and putting the plug on the metal frame of the snowblower.
I have checked all the switches that are in run position; it is still just spinning with no sound or engaging of the engine.
Should I try to take off the aluminum cup that is attached to the flywheel. can that be adjusted,it doesn't seem to be lining
up with the recoil starter still.
I did sign up for the small engine course at the local trade school that starts in 2 weeks. I am hoping they will let me bring the snowblower into the classroom to play around with it.
Thanks
Jack
 
  #11  
Old 01-18-08, 02:42 PM
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can you post a picture of the cup. it shouldn't matter if its not lined it it will catch one way or another. its not adjustable
 
  #12  
Old 01-18-08, 05:06 PM
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I think we may be playing with semantics here. I am wondering if when yukojack says the engine is not "engaging" he means firing. If there is spark and he can feel pressure at the plug then I believe the recoil starter is engaging the cup and turning the flywheel. If there is spark then switches etc. seem to be OK. yuko, I would remove plug and spray a small amount of starter fluid, carb cleaner will do or if you do not have either of those a tsp of gasoline into the cylinder and replace plug. If engine now starts/fires up (engages) and dies, then you have a fuel supply problem or a carb problem. Try this and post back lots of help here.
 
  #13  
Old 01-19-08, 12:02 AM
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It does not sound like the engine is blown. Perform the checks requested and see what happens, especially with the starter fluid.
 
  #14  
Old 01-19-08, 09:02 AM
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flywheel problem

I did put some carb cleaner in this morning and it is still
not turning over.
I will send you some closeup pictures of the cup and flywheel
 
  #15  
Old 01-28-08, 08:57 AM
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flywheel still not engaging

my class has been cancelled, only 2 of us enrolled in a small engine repair course for Monday nights. I had all intentions of bringing my snowblower in to be fixed during the course.
oh well, I will keep trying to figure out the problem then
with it. does anyone have any recommendations for books on snowblower repair or small engine repair.thanks,jack
 
  #16  
Old 02-04-08, 12:19 PM
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flywheel,no resistance

Thanks again folks for your assistance, a friend of mine looked at the snowblower, tried everything from adding gas and starter fluid ,but no luck. I have nothing to lose by trying to take it apart and see if something is disconnected or gunked up.
Jack
 
  #17  
Old 02-04-08, 09:08 PM
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If you want to properly diagnose this to find the problem, we can help (rather than just taking stuff apart without direction).

From what info we have so far, I would suspect that maybe you have a sticking valve that maybe isn't closing 100%. I think I'd begin by just removing the head. Remove it and rotate the engine by hand. Watch the operation of the valves in relation to the movement of the piston. This will give you some visual information about what is happening inside an engine when it is running, and it will let you see if both valves are opening/closing 100%.
 
  #18  
Old 02-05-08, 08:15 PM
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This is a snowblower engine. The more I think about it, If you soak the carb, install a kit & a float, it should run. You say you have compression & spark..Has the spark plug been changed?? Is it always wet??? Adding gas & starter fluid in the wrong amounts will only flood it. (& where are you adding it to????) Don"t tear it apart yet, try a proper carb soak, Kit & float & I think this thing will run!!! Roger
 
  #19  
Old 02-24-08, 05:45 PM
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compression test

I went out and bought a compression testing kit to try on the snowblower.

Should I have gotten at least some kind of reading on the gauge when I tried using the electric start.
There was no reading at all on the gauge.

Thanks

PS: should I then try the carb solution or maybe removing the head
 
  #20  
Old 02-24-08, 05:49 PM
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rubber strap wrenches

I am waiting for an order of rubber strap wrenches to arrive.
Would it be beneficial to take the flywheel off and try to see the problem from that end of the snowblower.
thanks
 
  #21  
Old 02-24-08, 09:16 PM
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You won't be able to see the problem from that end. You should first remove the head and verify valve operation and piston movement.
 
  #22  
Old 02-25-08, 12:03 AM
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what cheese said. remove the cylinder head and turn the engine manually is the piston and valves moving, if not the engine through a rod and is junk unless you know how to rebuild.
 
  #23  
Old 02-26-08, 04:47 PM
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snowblower problem

I started to strip down the snowblower last night by removing the gas tank, then disconnecting the carburator and finished with removing the electric starter when I found a surprise behind it. A small 1/2 in. jagged hole in the side of the engine with a metal piece that had fallen behind the starter.
I then moved the flywheel/cup by hand and could see the shaft rotating inside the hole.

Advice? should I buy a new engine for under $150.00 from
Harbor Freight and install it or is there a kit that will repair a problem like this? The frame is in good shape and I already have a newer snowblower that I bought for this season.

I have nothing to lose by trying to take it apart further and find out what makes it tick as I will be taking the small engine repair class when it is offered again at the local trade school.

I hope you can see these pictures, I may try to post them separately. many thanks to everyone for sticking it out and having a lot of patience for an amateur.
Jack
 
  #24  
Old 02-26-08, 05:00 PM
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picture of hole in snowblower engine

 
  #25  
Old 02-26-08, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by yukojack View Post
link don't work. go to www.photobucket.com and upload the photo with them its free. kodak does not allow pictures to be shared with there hosting.but the engine is shot you need a new one. you could buy a new engine block and have someone transfer the parts but for $150 i say go for the engine.
 
  #26  
Old 02-26-08, 10:29 PM
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Time to send that engine to the scrap yard and re-power with another engine. I don't know what engine's you're looking at, but for $150, I'm wondering if it's a chinese copy engine. If so, I'd suggest allowing a little more in the budget and buy a name brand engine that will last a little while and you can get parts for when needed.
 
  #27  
Old 02-27-08, 05:09 AM
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DO NOT BUY THE ENGINE FROM HARBOR FREIGHT!!!!!
The engines they sell are Chinese clones. You can NOT get parts for them. I had a customer bring one in and I could not even get a spark plug for it.
Your better bet is either buy a short block or look on Ebay and find the same brand & HP that you have .
 
  #28  
Old 02-27-08, 03:41 PM
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pictures of engine

Thanks, I downloaded the pictures into photobucket, you should be able to see these


http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/i...k/IMG_2542.jpg

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/i...k/IMG_2531.jpg

http://i265.photobucket.com/albums/i...k/IMG_2530.jpg
 
  #29  
Old 02-28-08, 01:05 AM
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Yep, it broke a rod and the block. Replace it.
 
  #30  
Old 02-28-08, 11:52 AM
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broken rod and block

Just wanted to thank everyone again for your expertise,
advise and time that was put into assisting me with the engine problem.
I know more now than I did 2 months ago about snowblowers.
I will continue to keep an eye out for an engine on
craigs list or ebay.
I already have the new snowblower, so it wouldn't hurt to eventually fix the other one.
Many Thanks,
Jack
 
  #31  
Old 02-28-08, 08:13 PM
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Good luck with it, and let us know if we can help!
 
  #32  
Old 04-16-09, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by yukojack View Post
I started to strip down the snowblower last night by removing the gas tank, then disconnecting the carburator and finished with removing the electric starter when I found a surprise behind it. A small 1/2 in. jagged hole in the side of the engine with a metal piece that had fallen behind the starter.
I then moved the flywheel/cup by hand and could see the shaft rotating inside the hole.

Advice? should I buy a new engine for under $150.00 from
Harbor Freight and install it or is there a kit that will repair a problem like this? The frame is in good shape and I already have a newer snowblower that I bought for this season.

I have nothing to lose by trying to take it apart further and find out what makes it tick as I will be taking the small engine repair class when it is offered again at the local trade school.

I hope you can see these pictures, I may try to post them separately. many thanks to everyone for sticking it out and having a lot of patience for an amateur.
Jack
hey yukojack, just wanted to let you know that your conversation here also helped my husband who had a similar problem. So you are not the only one who learned about snowblowers through this
 
  #33  
Old 01-18-10, 02:48 PM
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The Brute 523 -- what a brute!

I also want to comment (I registered just for this purpose) that I too have learned a lot about my Brute 523, while reading the plight of the original poster, yukojack, or someone else.

Yeah, I inherited, or rather my wife inherited this rather anonymous gasoline powered calamity. We like to wait till the last minute whenever possible, and, unable to find the shovel, we tracked down this charming mechanical contrivance, lent by an uncle by way of the mother-in-law to a friend who wheeled it out in the backyard and forgot it.

IT WAS MISSING THE KEY!! Reading the forum, I realized what was needed was a nonconducting "key", to put in the designated hole. We had used a Sheetrock screw originally to serve as a key.

Now we have spark happening. I suspect that the alcohol containing gasoline has done some damage along the way, preventing the carburetor from getting any fuel. It seems to be a fairly well made little machine. More will be revealed as to whether it will actually remove snow from our driveway.
 
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